Videos that surfaced on social media this month have raised questions over whether Ukrainian forces committed war crimes when they captured and killed a group of Russian soldiers in the Luhansk region. While Russia accused Ukraine of needlessly killing Russian prisoners of war, Ukraine’s commissioner for human rights, Dmytro Lubinets, said Russian soldiers had opened fire during the act of surrendering.
For months, Mr. Zelensky has called for a special tribunal to examine wartime atrocities and work alongside the International Criminal Court. His administration is working to drum up global support to get behind a draft resolution to present to the United Nations General Assembly.
“We must develop the necessary legal architecture to make the tribunal work,” he said in his nightly address on Tuesday, referring to the Nuremberg tribunal established in Germany to hold Nazis accountable after World War II.
Mr. Zelensky maintained that there was no judicial body to charge all Russian officials. Even at the level of the International Criminal Court, he said, “it is still impossible to bring the highest political and military leadership of Russia to justice for the crime of aggression against our state.”
Hie wife, Olena Zelenska, called for accountability in an address to Britain’s lawmakers in Westminster on Tuesday. “Victory is not the only thing we need,” she said. “We need justice.”
The same day, Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin, pressed for the international tribunal in a meeting with the ministers of the Group of 7 countries in Berlin.
“Prosecutors perform their duties even under enemy fire, but we need help to continue this work,” he said on Tuesday, according to a statement from the prosecutor general’s office on the Telegram social media app.
Emma Bubola contributed reporting.